Apparently, after last night’s chaos, Giannis Antetokounmpo received what should be the ball used during the Bucks-Pacers game. The tension had arisen when the Indiana players, at the end of a game lost largely because of the Greek’s 64 points, had taken the ball to the locker room, apparently to give it to a rookie who had just scored his first career points in the NBA. Giannis wanted the ball as a memento of his performance, career-high, and in the end a ball was indeed handed to him.
In the press conference, however, Antetokounmpo bitterly stated that he did not think the ball now in his possession was really the one used during the match.
“I have no idea, I don’t want to lie. I have no idea. I don’t know, I really don’t know. I have a ball, but I don’t know if it’s the game ball. It doesn’t feel like it is. It feels like a new ball to me. I played 35 minutes, I know how I felt the game ball. The ball I have now, which I’m going to keep and give to my mom, it doesn’t feel like the one I used in the game.” Giannis said.
A real mystery, not least because Rick Carlisle, Pacers coach, said after the game that. even his people were not in possession of the “real” ball of the contest. According to the coach, the latter would be in the hands of a member of security.
Rick Carlisle said the Pacers found out they didn’t actually have the game ball anyway. They took the reserve ball and a security guard had the real game ball.
– Dustin Dopirak (@DustinDopirak) December 14, 2023
Some users on X went through every available frame since the fourth-quarter siren sounded. In this video, it appears that it is indeed a Bucks assistant coach who first gets his hands on the ball, going to ask a referee for it.
I went back to look and this is clearly a Bucks assistant so I don’t know how the Pacers ended up with the ball https://t.co/34UFI1v9gC pic.twitter.com/kUMuBvFtuq
– CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) December 14, 2023